Graduates at the University of Pikeville who greeted Gov. Paul Patton at commenecement will be one of the last ones to cross the stage with him there as the school's president.
The Board of Trustees voted that current Vice President James Hurley will take over for Patton in July of 2013. Board of Trustees Chairman Terry Dotson said when Patton was given the job, they knew what length of time he would be there.
The board met in February and May to discuss plans for the future leadership of the college. Dotson said this is not the end for the governor.
"The governor will stay on in the position of chancellor, the face of the college that way to the institutions and he can aid in fund raising and government relations and those kinds of things," said Dotson.
Gov. Patton said it was time for a new beginning.
"The role of president of the University of Pikeville has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life, but the time to move on," said Patton.
"Mr. Hurley is a tremendous leader and he will provide great energy over the next several years."
Hurley will be the first graduate of the school to become president. He said he was excited for the opportunity.
"It is an honor that the board of trustees and Governor Patton has that much confidence in me to lead this university forward and it is an exciting time," said Hurley.
James Hurley is a Perry County native and was a basketball star at M.C. Napier high school in the mid 1990's. He graduated from Pikeville College in 1999.
Hurley said he was a first generation college student and hoped to give back to the school.
"This university provided an opportunity for me, I was born and raised in eastern kentucky and appalachia so that means a lot to be able to come back and provide leadership for these young people," said Hurley.
Dotson said Patton will still live on campus with his wife Judy and plans on staying involved.